Flossing can seem like such a chore sometimes. It can be hard to find the motivation to pick up the floss after you’ve just finished brushing your teeth. Is flossing really necessary? Turns out it is. Flossing can prevent tooth decay in ways that simply brushing can’t. However, it can be hard to get started when you don’t know the proper technique. That’s why a dentist in Blackwell is here to tell you 4 tips to help you build a habit of effective flossing.
Find the Perfect Floss for You
Different teeth need different kinds of floss. If your teeth are close together and it’s difficult to fit floss in there, try a fine floss. Flavored and waxed floss help make the process easy and provide a minty fresh aftertaste. If you have trouble reaching in between your back teeth, try a floss pick, which allows for easier reach. If you’ve had trouble flossing in the past, try a different variety to see if that spells success for you.
Improve Your Technique
Flossing only really works if you do it in the right way, and it’s pretty easy to mess it up. Here are the steps to the proper flossing technique:
- Pull out about 18 inches of floss.
- Wind it around the middle finger of both hands.
- Pinch the floss between the thumbs and index fingers, leaving an inch or two free between your hands.
- Use a gentle rubbing motion to guide the floss between the teeth.
- Curve the floss into a C shape against one tooth and the gums.
- Lightly rub the side of the tooth with up and down motions.
- Get every space between your teeth as well as behind your back molars.
Try Water Flossing
If regular flossing isn’t quite your thing, you can try a water pick as an alternative. It uses a handheld appliance that flushes water in between the teeth, washing away food particles. However, water picks generally don’t remove all plaque between teeth, so it’s better to combine this method with traditional flossing.
We’ve all heard that it takes 21 days to establish a habit. Adding flossing to your daily routine should take about the same amount of time. Figure out what time of day you want to floss. Most people do it in the morning or in the evening. As long as it’s the same time every day, you should successfully build a habit. Try setting a daily alarm on your phone or write “floss” on a sticky note in your bathroom mirror. Use whatever method works best for you.
At first, getting into flossing can seem like a daunting task. However, once you start it, you will feel results almost instantly. Your mouth will look and feel so much cleaner. Your breath will be fresher. You’ll have fewer cavities and a lower risk for gum disease. Follow these tips and flossing should become a normal part of your oral health routine.
About the Author
Dr. Aaron Neale graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry in 2010. He strives to make all of his patients feel like they’re a member of the family. As a family man with six kids, it comes naturally to him! To learn more about how Dr. Neale can help you establish a routine of daily flossing, click here or call (580) 262-8420.